Want to know how the US is feeling on any given day? Facebook is now attempting to tell you, through what it calls the Gross National Happiness Index.
The prototype application analyzes status updates to determine the collective mood of the social network’s 300+ million users. Facebook writes in a blog post, “examples of positive or happy words include “happy,” “yay” and “awesome,” while negative, or unhappy words, include “sad,” “doubt” and “tragic.”
Not surprisingly, the happiest days are those when people aren’t at work (holidays), and the saddest are those when famous people (Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson in Facebook’s example) unexpectedly pass away.